real vampires, vampire games and tv shows, movies or films, and vampire books

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When Were Vampires Ever Scary?

Often times when I hear people pissing and moaning about the vampires of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and so on, I can’t help but do an internal eye role. They usually say the same old things, like…

“Vampires aren’t supposed to fall in love, that’s not scary!”

“Vampires kill humans, they don’t befriend them!”

“Vampires are supposed to rip humans to bloody shreds!”

And the biggest comment of all is…

“Vampires are supposed to be scary, like the used to be back in the day!”

That last comment is the one that stops me every time. I always have the instant urge to ask them, “When were vampires ever scary?” Yes, there are loads of scary modern day vampire films and books that showcase truly terrifying vampires, like 30 Days of Night for example. But those that are complaining are talking about vampires in entertainment from “back in the day.” The first vampire movies and books. I hate to break it to the haters, but those weren’t scary, and not only that, but they feature a lot of the things people hate so much nowadays.

Take Bram Stoker’s Dracula for example, it’s the big vampire book that started it all. The classic book features an epic romance, a dapper and handsome vampire, and more. See, even vampires books from back in the day had romance and sexy vampires. And is Dracula scary? No. Not once when I was reading the book as a child was I afraid. It has elements of horror, it is indeed a horror novel, but it’s not any scarier than many of our modern day vampire novels that people bitch so much about. Of course, Dracula is better than those books in countless ways, but using the “vampires are supposed to be scary!” argument as a reason why it’s better does not work.

The thing is, I can’t think of a single vampire film or book from ages ago that’s truly scary, and that is why the argument about how new vampires in entertainment are lame because they aren’t scary like they once were, bothers me. Yes, vampires in classic stories and old black and white films weren’t cute fluffy bunnies, but they weren’t terrifying beasts either. They didn’t brutally mutilate their prey like in recent vampire horror films. They had an element of horror, but not in a nightmare-worthy way.

I can think of a 101 reasons to hate books like Twilight, but it not being scary like it’s “supposed to be” is not one of them.

So, to those that complain about modern vampires not being scary like before, I ask, “When were they ever scary?”

– Moonlight

bram stokerdraculascary vampirestwilightvampire

Moonlight • May 20, 2012


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Comments

  1. Caroline May 20, 2012 - 9:23 am Reply

    I actually think that vampires were scary when I was a kid, and that was just because I had childhood fears of demons etc. I watched the old dracula, saw the female hissing vampire females, and other vampires. In my child mind these were terrifying, but as far as looking back on these movies as an adult vampires are not scary. In fact they were never scary just filled with mystical powers and strengths that were unusual. I personally do not like slasher films so I’m glad that the modern day vampires aren’t ripping people apart. Slasher films aren’t even scary to me. I think they are stupid and I become used to the violence when I watch them so when another head gets chopped off its like whatever. In my opinion vampires aren’t scary and I’m glad.

    • Amanda Pike May 20, 2012 - 2:20 pm Reply

      I think a well done vampire can be charming, seductive AND terrifying. Gary Oldman’s Dracula had some legitimately creepy moments. Sure, he could be seductive but Mina was the first woman in four hundred and eighty years he didn’t intent to kill. What are the chances of him actually letting you survive when you think about it?

  2. David MacDowell Blue May 20, 2012 - 10:28 am Reply

    When I was a child, I found many of Hammer’s vampire’s scary. And for that matter, I do believe audiences found things scary a few generations ago or more that we don’t particularly. Just as they found different things funny. Look at Charlie Chaplin. A brilliant performer, and I’ve been with lots of folks at one time or another watching his films. We all liked them. None of us laughed. But peopled used to.

    Lord Ruthven in several of his incarnations was intended to frighten, and people evidently did feel that way. To Victorians, I would imagine the idea of three women almost raping Harker, only to be stopped by Dracula with the words “This man is mine!” inspired fear. Likewise reading CARMILLA aloud in the evening by candlelight probably made for a genuinely frightening experience.

    Still, despite my nit-picking I think you have a good point. Vampires in fiction inspired some fear, but almost from the very beginning they were far more complex entities than simple monsters that scared. From folklore, they were absolutely terrifying! But in fiction? They could be frightening. My guess is they often were, aimed at the audiences of their time. But it was more than that.

    Plus, while the Cullens in TWILIGHT are quite nice, most vampires in that universe are very scary beings indeed. Jane is a horror, and so in a more subtle but profound way are all three Volturi. I liked how the films emphasized that, including Victoria’s army.

  3. Anthony Hogg May 20, 2012 - 11:12 am Reply

    I think it’s a generational thing. The vampires of yore might not seem scary *now* but to previous generations (and maybe folk of certain sensibilities), they had greater capacity to scare.

    You only need to assess the initial reaction to Stoker’s novel, and subsequent adaptations. The ‘impact’ of the scare is lost over time, as filmmaking and public tastes advance. Same goes for comedies, etc.

    Apart from that, I think the ‘haters’ are more referring to horror content (‘scary’) than actual, legit, hide-under-the-covers scares, which would fall in line with the other criticisms. Essentially, they don’t like the vampire’s humanisation. No longer a monster, more of a person…with a severe drinking problem. Its ‘monsterousness’ is stripped away.

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  5. Halek May 20, 2012 - 12:11 pm Reply

    I agree with you about older treatments of vampires. The 30 Days Of Night-type vamps frequently cited by ‘glampire’-bashers as typifying ‘real’ vampires are like neither folkloric vampires nor early cinematic/literary vampires. Before Stephenie Meyer was blamed (by what I call the Vampire Police) for ‘ruining’ vampires it was Joss Whedon (a vampire as the handsome, heroic boyfriend of a high schooler?!) and before that Anne Rice (who was inspired to create her elegant, self-loathing vampires by the old Universal film Dracula’s Daughter).

    However, I have to admit that the 19th c. classic story Wake Not The Dead really scared me, especially the ending. Maybe because I was in a certain mood and read it late at night, or perhaps because facing a vengeful deceased loved one is the essence of the undead – whether zombie, ghost, or vampire – at their most frightening.

    • Amanda Pike May 20, 2012 - 2:24 pm Reply

      Sympathetic doesn’t always mean “Not scary.” Hollywood has gotten too polarized lately with either mindless killing machines and near zombie-like vampires like the trailer trash version of Jerry Dandridge in the Fright Night remake with no shapeshifting powers at all, or the zombie-like vampires in Thirty Days of Night. Then you get the other extreme like Edward Cullen. People have forgotten balance. Vampires like Dracula and even Countless Zeleska (Dracula’s daughter) could be scary. Sympathetic yet scary. She still killed people, still would slaughter your lover if she wanted you all to herself.

      Even Anne Rice’s vampires could still be frightening. Who didn’t get startled (though we could guess it was coming) when Lestat came back from the swamp? Anne Rice’s mode of terrifying us was a bit different. She made the idea of being made a vampire frightening with Louis and she made mortality itself frightening with Lestat. Not so much of an external force being frightening but of your own physical condition being frightened. Fear was still an issue, it was just more complex than any sort of jump startling.

      • Halek May 20, 2012 - 5:11 pm Reply

        I see what you’re saying.

        Aside: Dracula’s Daughter was really ahead of its time in emphasizing psychological themes: addiction, stalking, obsession, psychotherapy. It’s the dread of succumbing to an internal disturbance, or of being the target of such an individual. It prefigured the subtle but pervasive psychological horror of Val Lewton movies like Cat People and The Seventh Victim.

        The romantic vampire movies of the late 80s and early 90s – Central Park Drifter, To Sleep With A Vampire, Tale of a Vampire – were precursors to today’s paranormal romance franchises, but there was much more of a horror/tragedy aspect.

        Arguably The Moth Diaries film, like Let The Right One In or The Hamiltons, represents a return to the kind of balance you’re suggesting.

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  7. thomas dobias May 20, 2012 - 1:37 pm Reply

    the twilight vampire novels have the readers to bleive that vampires are
    law biden citzens whose childern atten higschool and get married
    and rising kids

  8. Amanda Pike May 20, 2012 - 2:18 pm Reply

    Actually, as much as I love Dracula he has managed to scare me. And Eli from Let the Right one in. One day while I was alone in the apartment there was a doncumentary about the real Dracula and castle Dracula on The History channel. They talked about how the locals thought strange noises and light could be seen at the castle so they sent some priests to bless the place. Before the preists could reach the castle a terrible storm hit so they had to do the blessing from over a hundred feet away. This was trippy to me because conjuring storms is supposed to be one of his powers in the novel. And at that exact moment the door to the apartment creeked open. I practically leapt out of my skin. It was just someone coming home but at that moment I realized Dracula could actually frighten me. Also the first time I watched the original Let the Right one In there was a power outage toward the middle of the movie and it actually left me unnerved with the irrational thought “Oh, crap! Creepy vampire child is gonna get me!”

  9. Tally May 20, 2012 - 5:09 pm Reply

    Vampires were scary to a lot of people at one time, and if there was more of an effort to make them monstrous, they’d still be scary to people now. Even lackluster efforts like the new Fright Night probably scare somebody out there.

    I just think it’s silly that those of us who want scary vampires, meaning monstrous vampires created with the intent to frighten, are so consistently written off as a bunch of whiners. You want sexy vampires? Romantic prettyboy vampires? You want vampires who would never dream of so much as hurting a fly let alone another person? Well congratulations: you’re getting what you want. Those of us who want vampires as monsters? We’re not getting what we want, but somehow it’s not okay for us to complain about that.

    There’s an abundance of prettyboy goody-two-shoes vampires out there now, but not too many care to make many old school vampires. You guys can say they wouldn’t work for today’s audiences, but the same was said of traditional superheroes like Captain America at one time, and we know that’s not the case now. When people do go for scary, more often than not they just decide that vampires are zombies on a diet and a problem with sunlight.

    Ultimately this article just seems like another cheap shot against us “whiners” who dare to question the Abercrombie status quo of the vampire genre these days. The bias of this site has become more and more obvious to me, and it’s unfortunate. I think I really realized the pro-supermodel goody-two-shoes vampire slant on this site when I noticed that Tim Powers’ new book “Hide Me Among The Graves” was not mentioned here in the list of new vampire books to be released in March, just as Mike Mignola’s Baltimore comics, and the novel they’re based on, have not been mentioned. Meanwhile much attention is heaped upon books much, much more obscure than them.

    I want my vampires to be monsters. Not supermodels. Not wimpy zombie shoe-ins. I want vampires like Dracula. Like Orlok. Like Barlow, the imposter Max Shreck, like The Master in Guillermo Del Toro’s awesome trilogy (which began suggesting that they were the usual “zompire” fare). I want old school scary vampires, and unlike those of you who don’t, I’m not getting what I want. Am I gonna complain? Damn right. Don’t like it? Sue me.

    • Moonlight May 20, 2012 - 9:56 pm Reply

      This is not a cheap shot at anyone. I don’t take cheap shots. I didn’t say there was anything wrong with hating the pretty and wholesome vampires – to each their own. Personally, I don’t like vampires who play nice… so why would I take a shot at myself? I was asking about one particular argument, I was asking a question to those who say “vampires are supposed to be scary, like they used to be.” That is all, no need to put ridiculous words into my mouth. I was simply asking “when were vampires ever scary.”

      And if you think I am bias, or this site is bias, then clearly you are new. We have many posts that bash the hell out of Twilight and emo vampires, but we also have many that rain praise on Twilight and others like it. We have something for everyone, we don’t pick sides. We cover absolutely everything we can.

      As for your precious books, they weren’t mention because of our “biased” tastes. My monthly books posts have every book I can put on there. When I do the book posts I use Amazon, I set the date in the search and use vampire keywords to complete the search. If a vampire book does not come up on my search, it’s because whoever added the book to Amazon (author or publisher) didn’t add a vampire tag to it or didn’t add the book in time. It’s not my fault those books or comics are left off of my monthly book posts, I am not psychic, they simply weren’t added into Amazon correctly. This happens a lot, people don’t submit books correctly, and 9 times out of 10, the author contacts me and asks me to include it on the list, which I do every single time. I try to add every single possible book I can.

      You make quick judgements, and you are clearly very defensive. There is nothing wrong with loving scary vampires and hating the emo ones, I never said that, not once. I only have issues with that one silly argument, it doesn’t make sense to me.

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  12. Novus Vox Vampirum May 20, 2012 - 7:03 pm Reply

    Eli from Let The Right One In.
    I was more scared of Oskar, myself. He had “future high school massacre instigator” written all over him.
    Kåre Hedebrant’s performance as Oskar was fantastic, and truly chilling!

    “Let Me In” was a pretty good Americanization, but compared to Eli and Oskar, Abby and Owen were your neighbor’s kids knocking on your door, wanting to borrow a cup of sugar for their cookie-baking… >;^]

  13. riventree May 20, 2012 - 7:50 pm Reply

    I think this is a pretty silly update.

    First of all, most ‘scary’ novels of the 18th and 19th century are considered tame by today’s standards. The Gothic novels of the 1790s were reputed to titillate and horrify, but have you ever read The Mysteries of Udolpho? It’s role as a novel of sensibility makes it ridiculous to the modern reader, and its ‘scary’ ghost content is incredibly tame. This kind of cultural change is apparent even in the last century – my mother was terrified by the Exorcist as a teenager, but when I saw it around the same age, it bored me half to tears. It’s not fair to look at a text from 100 or 200 years ago and claim it isn’t scary enough.

    Second of all, Dracula is a terrible example to use here. Dracula is NOT dashing and dapper. First he is horrifically old and has hairy palms, and then, as he becomes younger in the novel, he is physically typed as Eastern Europe and Jewish… A description that, at the time, most Victorian readers would NOT have found dapper OR sexy. And Dracula is NOT an ‘epic romance.’ It’s a sexually suggestive and subversive novel, but Dracula is an enigma: nowhere are his motivations really explored or stated, and though you CAN read his connection to Mina as deeply sexual (and even possibly more consensual than the novel states outright), there is no centuries-old romance connection between the two a la Coppola’s movie.

    And actually, vampires like Ruthven, Varney, Carmilla and Dracula WERE hinted to have brutally mutilated their prey – Ruthven kills two women in ‘The Vampyre,’ Carmilla is hunted because she has murdered other girls, and Dracula sucks the blood of babies and damns Lucy by transforming her into a vampire and she goes around MURDERING CHILDREN. The description is briefer and more subtle than modern horror films like 30 Days of Night, simply due to different aesthetic conventions of the time these texts were written… But it’s there. And you can’t tell me you don’t think Orlock in Nosferatu isn’t supposed to be a “terrifying beast.” He looks positively inhuman.

    Thirdly, when people complain about how vampires ‘used to be scary,’ they are complaining about the vampire’s humanisation. Though vampires may have been sympathetic at points in various narratives, vampires who are genuinely made to seem more like people is widely regarded as phenomena that took off only in the 1970s. And this is what irritates the horror fans. But it goes deeper than this.

    Vampires who are ‘scary’ allow narratives to enact the defeat of an evil monster in order to uphold what is good. Vampires who we can empathise with are more socially and sexually subversive. People who prefer the former choose Van Helsing over Buffy any day because they want a different KIND of story, one that is ultimately more conservative. And the most lampooned vampires of all, the likes of Edward Cullen, the vampires of romance novels, are lampooned by both men and women who devalue feminine genres like romance. While the romance genre is highly problematic for many feminist critics, it undeniably has a social role as a type of fiction or film that is marketed to and dominated by women. And as such, it will always be undervalued by a still-sexist society like ours that devalues things that are ‘feminine.’

    People might complain about the handsome and romantic vampires of Twilight because, like myself, they reject what these novels say about the role of women in relationships. But they also reject them because these novels give women an outlet for a POTENTIALLY subversive fantasy through romance, and what women need or want (however feminist or un-feminist it actually is) is still derided as silly and stupid by a culture that STILL, in many ways, caters to men before women.

    I like vampires in both romance and more traditional horror novels. Both say interesting things about our cultural tastes and fears. But I like it best when the two are mixed together, which is another possibility that your article ignores. Dracula is erotic BECAUSE it is unnerving. Anne Rice’s vampires are glamorous and sexy, but what is most scary about them is that we love them even though they do horrible things, identify with them even though they kill and kill and kill. Laurell K Hamilton’s vampire-porn traps its heroine between two stiff corpses when the sun comes up in the middle of elaborate fictional sex. They can be both digusting and unnerving and sexy and glamorous at the same time. Personally, I think that’s when vampires are at their most disturbing.

    From the number of responses you’ve received to this piece, clearly I’m not the only one who thinks “When were vampires every scary?” is a ridiculous question.

    • Moonlight May 20, 2012 - 9:42 pm Reply

      I feel like you missed the entire point of the post towards the ends there. Yes, you made valid points yourself, but they didn’t really have anything to do with what I was saying.

      Yes, Twilight is sexist garbage, I agree with that, and the haters that bring that up have every right to. But that wasn’t the focus of my post. I wasn’t discussing the reasons why people hate Twilight, there are countless reasons, I was bringing up one argument. I was discussing people who say “Vampires are supposed to be scary, like the used to be.” That was the only focus here. Yes, times have changed, but I don’t think vampires were ever truly scary like many people say when they bring up their hate for books like Twilight or The Vampire Diaries. That’s all I was getting at.

      As for all the comments, well hun, that was the point. I asked a question for a reason – I wanted answers. I wasn’t looking for people to agree with me, I was looking for other opinions. I don’t want people to read my posts and just move on to the next, I want their input as well. I like hearing different views. Take you for example, you left a very long comment, full of information, and that’s exactly what I wanted. The question isn’t ridiculous, it’s a good question and it made you and the others stop and think. It caused you to write an intelligent comment, it stopped you and had you share your own voice. Not ridiculous at all in my opinion, not if it has so many people sharing well thought out ideas.

      • riventree May 21, 2012 - 3:58 am Reply

        But I WAS responding to the ‘point’ of your post. I said that whether or not vampires are ‘scary’ in older stories is not only personally subjective, but cultural and historical. Furthermore, I was suggesting that when some people say vampires are “supposed” to be scary, their surface complaint is not what ACTUALLY makes them uncomfortable. They’re not bothered by the vampire, they’re bothered because it is doing something in the text that actually makes them uncomfortable. I wasn’t suggesting reasons why people hate Twilight; I was trying to suggest reasons why people like certain kinds of vampires.

        Of course, it might just be people’s own lack of genre knowledge that makes them say that, too, or that they have competing genre expectations about horror and romance. I agree with some of the above posters – that the vampire has always been more complex than being either outright evil and scary, OR sexy and seductive. I think you were also suggesting that it’s not as straightforward as all that, and I agree with you there.

        Whether or vampires are “supposed” to be and used to be scary perhaps says more about vampire fans than vampires themselves.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. :)

        • riventree May 21, 2012 - 4:53 am Reply

          Oh, and just a quick clarification, when I say “it makes them uncomfortable,” I only mean “uncomfortable” as an umbrella word for any number of things – from simple things like it mildly annoys them, makes really them angry, or they find it boring, to more difficult-to-pinpoint feelings of ideological or emotional dissonance.

          Cheers again.

    • Tally May 20, 2012 - 9:50 pm Reply

      As I’ve said time and again, I don’t mind the PRESENCE of vampire stories that strip away the horror in favor of romance. What I mind is the ABSENCE of the kind of vampire story that I like. Some feminists like to jump the gun and assume it’s about sexism and masculinity, but that’s not it at all. I’m not asking for anything to be TAKEN AWAY. People who like that kind of vampire story should be able to find enough examples of it to be happy. It’s the fact that the kind of vampire story I like ALREADY HAS been taken away, and people like me who complain about that must constantly get a finger waved in our face about how we’re sexist or how we’re against variety or any number of un-true things.

      You argue that today’s culture still caters to men before women. I can’t disagree with that, and I think that’s wrong as much as anybody. However, the opposite seems to be true with vampire fiction these days. Vampire romance dominates vampire fiction today, and it’s undeniable that this vampire fiction is catered toward women. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure sexism doesn’t just mean “anti-female” and unfortunately there’s this growing idea that any man who dares question something like this is sexist. THAT is sexism, my friend. The door swings both ways.

      I don’t care if there’s vampire fiction catered toward those who prefer their vampires romantic and sexy and without any monstrous qualities. I don’t. But it’s not about taking the vampire away from them. It’s about NOT taking it away from the horror fans.

      To put it more clearly, it feels like the vampire is being taken away from us horror fans, and it’s not fair. People are acting like they want to share, but they’re being just as selfish as we’re accused of being. Why can’t we have our vampires too? Why can’t everyone be happy? Why does one team have to win over another? I absolutely DO NOT ask that all vampire fiction match my tastes, but as it stands, MOST vampire fiction DOESN’T, and to me, it’s not fair for people with tastes like mine to be called out and almost insulted just because we dare question the pro-supermodel-vampire status quo.

      • Halek May 20, 2012 - 10:13 pm Reply

        Well, we’ll surely see less and less horror-deprived romantic vampire material. Two reasons: 1) Hunger Games and 2) 50 Shades of Grey. It’ll be dystopian fiction for the YA market and S&M for the soccer moms. That particular trend has been rising for some time while Twilight book sales and Vampire Diaries ratings have been falling.

        The horror genre will always have plenty of vamps, so the ratio of horror to boyfriend emopires will increase. But I imagine that there will be less vampire product overall for a little while since a lot of vamp projects, even horror-oriented, were greenlighted during the heyday of Twilight. But that’s OK. There will be another wave of popularity before too long.

        • Veritas May 20, 2012 - 11:28 pm Reply

          You hit the nail on the head really. The market determines what we get, and as Twilight proves there’s a lot of money involved in appealing to YA (mostly female) and vampire romance.

          There’s still plenty of scary vampire to be found, it just doesn’t always become as insanely popular. I like to think Twilight helped reinvigorate the vampire genre to the point that many would consider it overkill, but I’m delighted. It helps stimulate the investors, studios, etc… to invest in publishing new vampire books and making new vampire films.

          About them ever being scary and related to some of the comments about the era, we have a great article if I’m not mistaken on the Grand Guignol (think Theatres des Vampires). Things that terrified them to the point of fainting, would seem like nothing to us today.

        • Moonlight May 21, 2012 - 10:26 am Reply

          Well said. And I love the word “emopire.” Lol, I may use that in the future ;)

      • riventree May 21, 2012 - 4:39 am Reply

        Tally – I think you were responding to me? And I totally agree with you that it’s not as simple as calling someone sexist for disliking vampire romance.

        I’m a woman and pretty conflicted about the whole thing, myself. I think as a generalisation that’s one reason that romance is unpopular, but it’s certainly not the only reason, and anyone who does not like it is NOT automatically a sexist man (or sexist woman!) who doesn’t want women to enjoy vampire books. As a *generalisation* that argument is that disdain for romance indicates a bigger cultural problem about devaluing things women like. But personally, I also have a huge problem with the way that some very standard romance (and vampire romance included) does nothing but reinforce gender roles and heteronormative expectations of what romance should be. I don’t believe in soulmates, and I don’t believe that rough, violent vampire men can be somehow transformed into ideal husbands through the love of a good woman! I don’t want a boyfriend who stalks me and watches me while I sleep, haha. I secretly enjoy those books exactly for reinforcing those weird little conceptions of romance, but intellectually, I also have a lot of disdain for them.

        As I said before, I prefer a mix of romance and horror, because I think there’s something disturbing about finding something monstrous so erotic. But some of my favourite vampire texts are still stories like Dracula and I Am Legend, films like Nosferatu, From Dusk Til Dawn, Shadow of the Vampire and Let The Right One In – stories that are not really ‘romantic’ at all. I can understand why some people don’t like the romance much. There are plenty of reasons not to like books and films like that, even starting with the fact that a lot of the time they’re poorly written or made in technical terms!

        You don’t deserve to be insulted for not liking sympathetic, sexy, not-so-scary vampires, of course… I don’t know exactly what kind of ‘scary’ vampire you like, but if it helps, I don’t think scary vampires are disappearing. Scary vampires are never going to get taken away from horror fans so long as there is any kind of thriving horror/action genre. Right now urban fantasy and paranormal romance is definitely dominating the vampire genre, in fiction more than anywhere else, but scary vampires haven’t gone away. In the last decade there has been Van Helsing, Blade: Trinity, I Am Legend, Daybreakers, Let the Right One In, Thirst, 30 Days of Night, Stakeland, Priest and the Fright Night remake, none of which really feature romance as a plotline. There are a handful of Dracula remakes in the works, too, like Harker and Dracula Year Zero. In addition to that there are novels like David Wellington’s 13 Bullets series, Guillermo del Toro’s co-written trilogy, Cronin’s The Passage… and, I’m sure, a few I don’t know about. Plus American Vampire, which is a great comic. I don’t think scary vampires have disappeared, and my prediction for the next few years is actually that we’re going to see a lot of backlash against romances like Twilight, resulting in an influx of scary vamps.

        Scary fiction is WAY outnumbered by romance, but in terms of film, the diversity all belongs to the scary ones – romances are serialised like Twilight (or possibly Underworld, if you think that is more romance than action), True Blood and Vampire Diaries. I think maybe it makes them seem like they overwhelm more straightforward horror because they’re ongoing.

        Anyway, my point is, I totally agree with you that not liking romance doesn’t automatically mean you’re sexist. I also think outside of the tween market, a lot of people really enjoy both kinds of vampires… Certainly, I like the horror films too, and hope just as much as you that they don’t disappear entirely. Sometimes you need some blood to cut through the treacle.

  14. Dagmar May 21, 2012 - 9:39 am Reply

    first: Damn what a lot of reaction :D

    as a kid I def. thought that vampires where scary. I’m still a bit freaked by Lestat in interview with a vampire. but they didn’t scare me as much as gremlins did or evil witches did (yes I was a scaredy cat). I also find Nosferatu disturbing but mainly because of his ugliness ^^

    • Moonlight May 21, 2012 - 10:20 am Reply

      Lol, vampires never scared me as a kid, I thought they were awesome. What did scare me senseless was Chucky and the clown from It. Many nightmares were brought on by those when I was a kiddie.

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  16. David October 21, 2012 - 3:18 pm Reply

    I think I get what you’re saying, Moonlight. i’ve never actually soiled my pants over a vampire story, but the word “scary” can mean they are like creepy but not actually causing you any real fear. I believe that vampires should be scary.

    As for Bram Stoker’s Dracula….not sure we’ve read the same book, Moonlight. Hate to breatk to to you, but Count Dracula was neither handsome or dapper in that book, Unless of course you consider this to be handosme and dapper…

    “…Within stood a tall old man, claen shaven save for a long white moustache. and clad in black form head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere.”

    “I had the opportunity of observing him of a very marked physiognomy.
    His face was a strong-avery storng-aquiline, with hight bridge of the nose and peculiarly arched nostrils; with a lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantly round the temples, but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting at the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose rebarkable ruddiness sheowd astonishing vitatlity in a man of his years. For the rest. his ears were pale and at the tops extremley pointed; the chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm thought thin. The General Effect was extraordianary pallor.
    Hitherto I ahd noticed that the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine; but seeing them close to me now, I could not notice that they were rather coarse-broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and cut to a sharp point.”

    It goes on to say how Count Dracula had such bad breath that it made Jonathan Harker nacious. Here is a description of what Dracula looked like when he was in his youthful form..

    “He was very pale, and his eyes seemed to bulge out as, half in terror and half in amazement, he gazed at a tall thin ma, with a beakey nose and black mousthache with a pointed beard…”

    “..His face was not a good face was not a good face; it was hard and cruel, and sensul, and his big white teeth, that looked all the whiter because his lips were so red, were pointed
    like and animal’s.”

    “…he looked so fierce and nasty”

    …So, you see, Dracula was not at all “handosome or dapper”…or atleast Bram Stoker never meant hom to be. No, that’s HOLLYWOOD that made him all attractive and sexy. A pale guy with fangs, bushy eyebrows, hairy palms and bad breath sounds, whose eyes occasionally glow red….sounds like a hideous demon to me. So, Dracula was in fact meant to be scary. I mean Why would the Horror Writers Assoctiation have the “Bram Stoker Awards” every year for Horror writers if Bram Stoker’s work was not meant to be scary. Well, theres my two cents.

  17. Robert October 1, 2017 - 8:43 am Reply

    Apparently, you have forgotten about films like Night Flyer, Nosferatu, and Salem’s Lot. Which begins to tell me, you really don’t know much about vampire cinema as you let on.

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